Throne of Glass Discussion

I read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas in the middle of July, but because I was reading so much that month, I never really spoke about it, and seen as it’s taken me longer to read City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett than I expected (I had hoped to discuss that this week), I thought now was the perfect time to talk about it. This post contains spoilers, so I would refrain from reading if you have any intention of reading this book in the future.

DISCLAIMER: I know that a lot of people love this book and this series, but I don’t mean to offend you if I talk negatively about it. Everyone’s reading taste is different, and that’s what’s so wonderful about books.

I read this book in two days, which is my record for a 400 page book. Which you would think would mean that I really liked it, but, honestly, I didn’t enjoy it much.

I thought the story line was boring, it was obvious she was going to win the tournament because it’s unlikely that you’re going to make an eight book series about Celaena if she didn’t win. And the whole thing with the murders and the demon creature and Cain was uninteresting to me.

The love triangle was the only part of the book I was slightly interested in, but it seemed unnecessary to the plot and general story line. I think the only reason I didn’t DNF this book was because I wanted to see if she chose Dorian or Chaol, then she chose neither… I was utterly disappointed.

It’s been a month since I read it and I literally can’t remember anymore about it, other than how much it annoyed me. I went into it thinking it was going to be really good, because so many people hype up the book and the series and I really didn’t think it was great. A few weeks ago I picked up Crown of Midnight from my library, but I couldn’t force myself to pick it up, so returned it untouched. Quite a few people have said that the series got better, which is why I wanted to read Crown of Midnight, but I own so many books that I want to read more than that, but I don’t think I’m ever going to pick it up, if I’m being honest.

Book Fair / Book Haul

So on Saturday I went into the city with my boyfriend because apparently there was a book fair in one of the markets. We looked all over, for a good 20 minutes, and there was no books anywhere in sight! We eventually gave up and walked around until we found the Waterstones.

Oh. My. God. It was magical. Three stories of nothing but books. I had to stop myself from buying everything on my TBR, which has over 50 books on it. Okay, maybe not. I bought four, I originally picked up 5, but my boyfriend managed to persuade me to put down the copy of City of Bones I’d picked up because I wouldn’t read it, it’d just sit on my shelf, and he’s getting me the editions that have the spines that make a picture for my birthday, so I didn’t need it. I bought: Scythe by Neal Shusterman, A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwabb, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I’m really happy with my choices, I’ve heard so many positive reviews about all of them, especially Scythe.

I think Scythe was the only book I was definitely going to buy if I saw it. And when I saw that The Hate U Give had stained edges, I had to get it – well, I was probably going to buy it anyway, I just love stained edges.

We also went into Forbidden Planet, a comic book shop, to look at comics (obviously) and see if they had any Pop figures I really wanted. I didn’t end up buying anything because the only thing I saw that I wanted was Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda but they didn’t have volume one, only two and three.

After we’d eaten and gotten Starbucks, we went home. I was watching TV with my dad later that day and I was telling him about the Monstress situation and he said the best thing to do to get comics or graphic novels is to go on eBay, so I did, because I really wanted Monstress. And I found volumes one and two were being sold for £5 for the two, with £2.90 shipping. I was so shocked, because the initial retail price is £10 each, so i bid, of course. After a small bid war in the final minutes I ended up playing £11.60 including shipping, which I’m really happy with, because I still saved £8.40, which is a lot when you’re a 16 year old student with no job.

I promised myself I was on a spending ban for the foreseeable future, because I spent a lot on Saturday. So skip to Monday, I’m volunteering at m library, and they’re throwing away old books that aren’t being read or are really old and battered. And the manager said to us that if there were any books that we wanted we could take, to save them from being ripped apart and thrown away.

I picked up 4 books from the discard shelves: The Devil’s Feather by Minette Walters, River of Shadows by Valerio Varesi, Missing by Catherine MacPhail, and Honour Thy Father by Lesley Glaister (which is for my mum). All of these books are so unlike anything I normally read, but they seem pretty good, and they didn’t cost me anything so if I don’t like them, I can give them to other people.

My dad also gave me his entire comic collection, which is well over 40, so my shelves are stacked.

Honestly, with all of the books I’ve acquired I shouldn’t need to spend anymore money, because I have so many to read, as well as all of the books in the library. And I’m hopefully getting a new floor to ceiling bookshelf so it won’t be such a tight squeeze of the shelves.

Two Can Keep a Secret Discussion

Quote from ‘August TBR’, written 2/8, posted 7/8: “Echo Ridge experienced its first tragic loss in 1995 when high-school senior Sarah Corcoran vanished while walking home from the library. Then five years ago, homecoming queen Lacey Kilduff was found dead in the aptly named Murderland Halloween park. Now, the killer claims to be back. A small town keeps losing its homecoming queens. Two murders, still unsolved. I am SO excited to read this! I loved One of Us is Lying so much last month (check out my blog post for more details), so when I saw the author had a second book out, I almost had a heart attack. I ordered it straight away and I will absolutely fly through it but I am so excited!”

I was right, I did fly through it. But not because I absolutely loved it, like I thought I was going to, but because I just wanted to get it over with and read something more interesting.

Overall, I just wasn’t loving it. Ellery and her theories and constant nagging and investigating got boring quickly. She fancied the guy but was more bothered about solving the mysteries than getting with him, which infuriated me, really. She got told multiple times to leave it, and she didn’t, which I know would’ve made the story boring if she did, but it was just annoying. I preferred Malcolm so much more, because even though he wanted to investigate and play detective, didn’t compulsively obsess over it and neglect all other aspects of his life because of it. If anything, the only he was so interested was so he could spend time with Ellery, which is adorable, bless him. I would’ve much preferred just Malcolm’s perspective.

The whole Sadie/Ellery/Ezra thing… ugh. It felt unnecessary, derailed the storyline, and just dragged the book out longer than it needed to be. I wished Ezra and Mia had bigger parts than they did, because I thought they were miles more interesting than anyone else!

And the ending…

I must admit, I didn’t think it would be who it was, which made it interesting, but it felt a bit rushed at the end, and not very well explained. It felt like it was slow build up, slow build up, slow build up, boom they did it, boom they’re in prison, boom the end. I wished the ending had a chapter from the killer’s perspective, so we would learn more about what they did and why they did it, etc.

Overall, it didn’t live up to my expectations, which is partly my fault, because I made those expectations, but coming off of One of Us is Lying, one of my favourite books of the year, I thought it would be better.

Rating: 3 stars

I’d love to know what your thoughts about it were if you’ve read it, and if you disagree with any of the points made. Try to keep comments spoiler free, and private message me on Instagram if you want to talk more in depth, and freely talk about spoilers.

August TBR

So, in July, I read 17 books. Which shocked me so much. I don’t know what happened. But I’m aiming to read five or six this month, and any more is a bonus.

1. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments #3

With the threat of war ever growing and looming, some unlikely alliances are made and new relationships blossom, but will it all come crumbling down? City of Glass is the finale of part one of The Mortal Instruments Series, which I have been obsessed with for over a month. I’ve loved City of Bones and City of Ashes, and I’m sure I’ll love City of Glass just as much.

2. Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Echo Ridge experienced its first tragic loss in 1995 when high-school senior Sarah Corcoran vanished while walking home from the library. Then five years ago, homecoming queen Lacey Kilduff was found dead in the aptly named Murderland Halloween park. Now, the killer claims to be back. A small town keeps losing its homecoming queens. Two murders, still unsolved. I am SO excited to read this! I loved One of Us is Lying so much last month (check out my blog post for more details), so when I saw the author had a second book out, I almost had a heart attack. I ordered it straight away and I will absolutely fly through it but I am so excited!

3. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – The Shatter Me Series #1

No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own. After a lifetime without freedom, she’s finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time – and to find a future with the one boy she thought she’d lost forever. I’m a sucker for a hyped book, especially if it’s dystopian or fantasy, so here I am. I’ve heard so many good things about this book and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – The Raven Cycle #1

Even if Blue hadn’t been told her true love would die if she kissed him, she would stay away from boys. Especially the ones from the local private school. Known as Raven Boys, they only mean trouble. But this is the year that everything changed for Blue. This is the year that she will be drawn into the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys. And the year Blue will discover that magic does exist. This is the year she will fall in love. This is another well hyped book in the bookish community, and so many people have said so many good things about this book and this series as a whole, so I’m really excited to pick it up.

(At the time of writing – Sunday the 4th – I’ve already read two of the books on this list and I’m half way through the third, so I’ll pick a couple more.)

5. Forget Me Not by A. M. Taylor

When Maddie met Nora, their friendship felt as easy as breathing. And when Nora disappeared, all the air went with her. Without her best friend, Maddie’s life becomes impossible. Ten years later, Nora is still missing and Maddie is still searching. People have been questioned. People have even been accused. But no one has managed to find Nora. Then, in the same spot where Nora went missing, the murdered body of Nora’s little sister is found. Convinced this is no coincidence, Maddie resolves to uncover the killer and find Nora – dead or alive. But will she be able to cope, when we learn what really happened to Nora…? I was browsing through books in the charity shop when I came across this, the spine looking splattered with blood intrigued me, and when I read the synopsis, I had to get it. It sounds angsty and mysterious and I’m really excited to read it as I’ve been getting really into murder/mystery books lately.

7. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – The Infernal Devices #1

When Tessa Gray arrives in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Friendless and hunted, Tessa seeks refuge with the Shadowhunters, a band of demonhunters. Drawn ever deeper into their world, she finds herself fascinated by – and torn between – two best friends. I’ve been obsessed with Cassandra Clare and the Shadowhunter world for over two months now, and I still can’t get enough of it. If you don’t already know, I’m reading all of Cassandra Clare’s books in publication order, and after City of Glass is Clockwork Angel. I don’t know how well I’m going to adjust to the new settings and new characters – specifically the lack of Magnus Bane, my favourite, who I’m guessing isn’t in the book because he’s based in New York – but I’m sure I’ll get used to it and love it as much as I’ve loved Cassie’s last three books I’ve read.

7. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Maddy is allergic to the world. She hasn’t left her house in seventeen yeers. Olly is the boy next door. He’s determined to find a way to reach her. Everything, Everything is about the crazy risks we take for love. I read The Sun is Also a Star and I really liked it… other than the love at first site – check out my review for more details – so I thought I might as well give her debut novel a go as well. I’m not really a fan of romance books. I’m all for romance in books, but when the relationship is the main focus on a book, not so much. Because of that, I’m not really going in with any expectations of loving it, and I’m just going to see where it takes me. From the synopsis, it doesn’t seem like a love at first sight type of story, because the girl has been locking herself away for so long, no one really sees her. But, overall, I’m optimistic.

I think I’m most excited for City of Glass, Two Can Keep a Secret, and Clockwork Angel, but I think I’ll like all of the books I/Siri have chosen (I count the number of unread books on my shelves and ask siri to pick a number, then read the corresponding book). Be sure to read my August Wrap up – posted 30th August – to hear all my thoughts on the books I’ve read.

Volunteering at the Library

I’ve been volunteering at my local library since the end of June, so for just over a month, and it’s been a mixed bag so far.

At first, just before I set off walking down, I’d get so anxious and scared. I’d just want to crawl into a ball in my bed and hide from the world, because it was a new atmosphere with new people who I didn’t know. But after a couple of weeks of forcing myself out of the door, I started to enjoy it more. I’ve made so many new friends and I’ve helped out so many members of our community that I really feel like I am making a difference and it’s a really nice and refreshing feeling.

I’m also surrounded by books for three hours, two days a week, which is heaven for a bookworm like myself, but it’s a blessing as well as a curse:

I love having all of these books around me and giving others access to some of my favourite books or just encouraging them to pick up something to read. Putting books in the right places on the shelves is so calming and satisfying, and having whole series together is a thing of beauty. But as I look through the shelves during my shifts, I see more and more books that I want to read, which would be amazing if I didn’t already have a list as long as my arm! I have to resist the “compulsive buyer” within me (yes, I know, it’s a library and the books are free, but the principle of ‘oh my gosh yes I need this’ is still there, so it works).

Stepping away from the actual library for a second, volunteering has given me a new way of getting some exercise now I’m not walking to and from school and playing football anyway. It’s around 20 minutes from my house to the library, but the journey back home is all uphill. It’s a nightmare, but it’d definitely keeping me fit, I’ve even lost a couple of pounds.

Overall, I really enjoy volunteering, and everything it offers me, and I would recommend that anyone should go and help out at their local library. And I can always guarantee that they’ll be happy to take on any and all new recruits!

Side note: It still feels weird not making any school related post for the past few months, but worry not, they’ll be back very soon! I have back to school hauls, first impressions, and much more coming in the last few months of the year. Exciting times coming SOON!

The Reading Rush Recap & Review

As I’ve previously mentioned, The Reading Rush is a read-a-thon than took place last week – Monday 22nd – Sunday 28th. You are encouraged to read as much as you can during the week, and you can participate in different book prompts, read ins or twitter sprints.

I was on holiday all week, so I got to read a lot, but I didn’t get chance to take part in many of the challenges, etc. But here are the books I read, and a quick summary of my thoughts about them. If you want to know what any of these books are about, I talk about most of them in my Reading Rush TBR post.

Monday

When The Reading Rush started, I hadn’t finished City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, which I was reading over the weekend and had about 80 pages left, so I finished that. I really enjoyed it, but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as City of Bones, and I don’t really remember much that happened. I rated it 5 stars but I think I’m going to change it to 4.

Then I started reading Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman for my non-human main character book, and I only read about 60 pages of it because it was so confusing to me and I really wasn’t enjoying it. I decided I was going to watch the TV show when I got home, and then try to read it again. So my Reading Rush wasn’t going well at this point aha.

City of Ashes and Good Omens took up most of my Monday, but on Monday night, before I went to sleep, I started reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl for my debut novel prompt.

Tuesday

I finished James and the Giant Peach on Tuesday morning. I loved it, obviously. The nostalgia, the humour, the talking insects, everything. I gave it 5 stars and I would give it more if I could.

I still wasn’t in the mood to read a big, chunky book yet, so I went with Batman: The Killing Joke, a comic which was my book with purple on the cover. It was odd. It didn’t make much sense. The ending was, I don’t even know. The whole thing was a bit strange. I gave it 3 stars because it was like reading in a completely made up language.

I couldn’t decide what to read next, so I asked Siri. I gave every book a number and asked Siri to pick a number. So my next read was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz for my 5 or more words in the title book. I read most of this book on Tuesday, but finished it on Wednesday.

Wednesday

I didn’t really like the ending of Aristotle and Dante…, if I’m honest. I expected it, but I wasn’t too bothered about that, I just felt like it was rushed and just stuck on the end with no real build-up. Because of that, I gave it 4 stars, because I still liked the story, just not the ending.

Next, as my parents were still asleep in bed, I decided to read Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson for my read a book in the same spot. It was so helpful, and I’m so glad I read it. There’s a discussion section at the back where it tells you how some people interpreted the story, but I decided not to read it, so I could interpret it myself, and make my own lesson out of it. 5 stars, again.

Then, I remembered that I needed a new book for the non-human main character prompt, and before I’d left, I’d downloaded some books onto my kindle in case I finished all of the books. So I decided that I would read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum as my replacement for Good Omens. I read it all on Wednesday and it was alright. I think it was a bit too slow and long-winded, and so much darker than the film, oh my. I gave it 4 stars, but I’m not really sure.

My final book for Wednesday was SpiderMan: Carnage by David Michelinie. I love Carnage, He’s my absolute favourite Marvel character, even though he is a deranged serial killer with an alien symbiote. He’s still so cool.

Thursday

I finished Carnage. 5 star read. Obviously. I love this like underlying sass that Carnage has when he speaks to Venom, his parent (asexual reproduction only requires one parent, this is how these aliens reproduce). I have another Carnage comic to read, I am super excited to get round to it.

I finished Carnage quite early into the day, and the next book I picked was my Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by JK Rowling. I loved reading this. As I read through the scenes I remembered watching them and how I felt when I saw them. Like when he showed his case to the customs officer and there was the Hufflepuff scarf, I was like “aww” and then thought hmm I’ve done that before. I gave this one 5 stars as well, because I loved every second of it.

On Thursday night I started reading Turtles All the Way Down by John Green,

Friday

It took me most of today to read Turtles All the Way Down. I slept for like half of the day. I gave it 4 stars, because, like Aristotle and Dante… I liked it, but not the ending. I don’t know what it was that made me dislike it, it just was a bit lacklustre.

Saturday

Once again, I didn’t read much today because we were travelling home, so I just slept mostly. I started reading Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman, but it was a bit boring, and there were too many characters, it was confusing.

Sunday

At this point, I’d completed The Reading Rush, and couldn’t be bothered finding more books for the prompts to do it again. So I just started reading City of Glass by Cassandra Clare – the third book in The Mortal Instruments series. I also decided I was going to re-read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and annotate it, because it’s one of my favourite books.

Overall, I’m glad I took part in The Reading Rush. Hopefully next year I won’t be on holiday during it so I can take part in read ins and the daily challenges, etc.

20 Bookish Facts About Me

1: My favourite beverage to drink while I read is tea; milk and two sugars.

2: I can’t listen to audiobooks. I don’t know what it is, but I just tune out and have no idea what’s been said.

3: I find it really difficult to sleep without reading first. I need to tire my brain and eyes before I can sleep. Weird, I know.

4: Book series intimidate me. The commitment scares me, and there is so much to read. I don’t think I have ever read a full series before.

5: My favourite book in the entire world is and always will be Matilda by Roald Dahl. I just love it and everything about it.

6: I’ve never been able to go into a bookshop and leave without buying at least one book. No wonder I have no money.

7: When I was little, my friend and I wrote a book. It was about a monkey that was lonely and just wanted a banana, so he went on a trip through the jungle to find one. It was a masterpiece.

8: I refuse to go to the teen section of my library because it’s painfully dismal.

9: I update my Goodreads progress religiously and obsessively.

10: If I read a book I love, I can not and will not shut up about it. I become obsessed.

11: Physical books are infinitely better than e-books. I’ve been trying to read e-books for years now, but I just can’t.

12: Almost all characters I read about and imagine in my head have a heart-shaped face and I’m really not sure why.

13: I have to read in silence, or with very quiet, wordless music.

14: I’ve only not finished two books in my life: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and The Kill Order by James Dashner.

15: If they made a bookshop scented candle I would literally buy hundreds of them.

16: Reading about love at first sight makes me want to vomit. I find it unrealistic and boring to read about.

17: I’m obsessed with comics and graphic novels. Marvel is life.

18: One of my life goals is to have a room in my house dedicated to books. My own personal library.

19: I have very little self control over buying books.

20: My favourite place to read during the day is outside, in the sun.